Use of Topographic Map Evidence to Locate a New Cenozoic Glacial History Paradigm’s Deep “Hole” Rim in Northeast New Mexico and Southern Colorado, USA

  •  Eric Clausen    


A recently proposed Cenozoic geology and glacial history paradigm requires a thick North American continental ice sheet to have been located within an ice sheet created and occupied deep “hole” and predicts large south-oriented meltwater floods flowed across the deep “hole’s” southern rim before rim uplift progressively diverted floodwaters toward the Mississippi River valley, which in time became the only deep “hole” southern exit (the accepted paradigm does not recognize such an ice sheet created deep “hole”). Possible locations for the new paradigm deep “hole” rim in Great Plains regions east of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are considered with the one being the Purgatoire-Canadian River drainage divide in the Raton Mesas area along the Colorado-New Mexico border and a second being the Canadian-Pecos River (Arkansas River-Gulf of Mexico) drainage divide in San Miguel County (NM). Detailed topographic maps indicate streams of what could have been south-oriented melt water once crossed the two studied drainage divides with headward erosion of the northeast-oriented Purgatoire River drainage basin diverting south-oriented water toward the east-oriented Arkansas River (and Mississippi River valley) while headward erosion of east-oriented Canadian River tributary valleys beheaded south-oriented flow to the south-southeast oriented Pecos River (flowing to the Rio Grande River–which then flows to the Gulf of Mexico). While the Purgatoire-Canadian River drainage divide has some deep “hole” rim characteristics, those characteristics disappear in an eastward direction and the Canadian River, like the Purgatoire River, is an Arkansas River tributary. East-oriented Canadian River headwaters and tributary valley headward erosion diverted south-oriented flow from the Rio Grande River to the Mississippi River valley (via the Canadian and Arkansas Rivers), which means the new paradigm’s deep “hole” rim southern margin should be located along or near the Arkansas River-Gulf of Mexico drainage divide.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1916-9779
  • ISSN(Online): 1916-9787
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: semiannual

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